Mar 2021 25

Album CoverPharyngeal
Album: Catharsis in Motion
Category: Black Metal / Industrial
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2020-12-10


After first appearing with a self-titled EP in 2015, Swedish solo musician Pascal Larsson has pulled all the stops to create his first full album under the Pharyngeal moniker. One look at his statuesque physique adorned in oily black paint and contacts, and one can easily imagine the influence of Psyclon Nine, Ludovico Technique, and 3TEETH to be heard on Catharsis in Motion. Throughout the album, the listener is treated to a vicious barrage of lightly industrialized doom-laden black metal that perhaps owes more to the stygian Scandinavian sounds of Immortal, Burzum, or Darkthrone, but tempered by the tight precision of the drum programming and the synth textures; alas, while the latter elements add a nice flavor to the record, there is a lack of power and depth in them that Pharyngeal would benefit greatly from the experience of a seasoned producer. This is not to say Catharsis in Motion is a tepid listen, albeit a somewhat uneven one. The beginning tracks are wrought with fluctuations in tempo and ambience, shifting dramatically at will between metallic brute force and classically inspired melancholia, such as in the opening “Premeditation,” the ululations of noise and swells of symphonic tones adding an almost militaristic or Wagnerian quality that clashes with the wails of distorted chugs of bass and guitar, all topped off by raspy screaming vocals that at least evoke the project’s very name. The same can be said of the synth arpeggios in “Preach” and the ambient pads and pianos on “Voices Within,” both offset by the unrelenting fury of blastbeats and aggressive riffs assaulting the listener like a battering ram, while the clean section of chill phased out guitar leads with a rising synth choir on “Ceaselessly Hollow” stands as one of the album’s more harmonious deviations. But it is from here that Catharsis in Motion has a rather vivid shift in personality, for despite the excessive length and repetitive phrases on tracks like “Pattern Repeat” and the closing “Relinquishment,” the resonant and sophisticated composites of pianos, bass, crying guitar leads, and tasteful synths make for some of the record’s most satisfying pieces of music, along with the marriage of lush acoustic guitars, violin-esque solos, and pensive drum programming on “In Retrospect.” As mentioned, unfortunately, the clinical sound of the electronic elements renders even these excellent tracks somewhat more inert, the organic aspects of vocals and live instrumentation sticking out in such a way that the album barks more than it bites. Should Pharyngeal manage to overcome this limitation on future releases, he can surely attain if not surpass the heights reached by his influences.
Track list:

  1. Premeditation
  2. Vengeance
  3. Catharsis in Motion
  4. Preach
  5. Voices Within
  6. Ceaselessly Hollow
  7. Pattern Repeat
  8. In Retrospect
  9. Void Walker
  10. Relinquishment

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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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